Kanin gondola to be relaunched on 5 August
One section of the gondola to Mt. Kanin will start operating on 5 August while the full stretch to the top will become operational on 20th August, local officials told the press on Wednesday.
The re-launch has been deferred several times due to technical issues, problems with the delivery of equipment and bad weather, but now the gondola has been tested and is ready for operation.
The gondola renovation cost EUR 5.9m, slightly more than the EUR 5.7m initially forecast. The funds have been secured by the government and partially from EU funds.
Danijel Krivec, the former mayor of Bovec who was in charge of the local commission overseeing the repair, said the project cost as much as the local economy had lost every year due to the non-operation of the ski resort.
The company Kaskader, which was in charge of the repairs, will run the gondola for now but Bovec municipality plans to issue a public call to lease it out to an operator.
The gondola was shut down when two cars plunged to the ground in January 2013 after a steel cable slipped from the bullwheel.
Lacking the funds for the repair, the operator of the Kanin ski resort shut down the resort and soon filed for bankruptcy.
Several attempts were made to find private buyers, but none came through. In the meantime, the gondola infrastructure and the accommodation facilities on Kanin fell into disrepair, raising the cost of revival by millions.
At the same time, several hotels in the valley below went bust. While some have since been sold to new owners, local tourism is yet to recover.